The 2002 Westminster Dog Show
How do you get her back in the garden after she's seen Westminster? Ketzel
talks with Bob Edwards on Day 1 of the unrivaled four-legged beauty
pageant of the year.
I'll bet you thought the most coveted assignment this week was a certain winter event in Salt Lake City. Forget it. For me, the Westminster Dog Show is no less than a legal high. No sooner do I recover my balance after seeing an Irish wolfhound cross W.32nd St., when a 13-inch beagle gives me a long-lashed look that melts me like swiss on rye.
Now don't get me wrong. I am no breed snob (just a little too fond of
hounds). If 2,500 mutts were at Madison Square Garden, I'd be just as over
the moon. But if you'll allow me to put politics aside -- in this case,
the assumption that breeds are superior and therefore more desirable, an
idea I reject -- I would like to introduce you to a few of the stun-o-rama
dogs and their human companions making the rounds at Westminster today.
From New Castle, Indiana, introducing the four-year-old Reebok, an
irresistibly sweet Australian shepherd shown here with his chaperone,
Staisha Vaught. I walked past this dog with just a glance and was suddenly
sucked in by his magnetism. No joke, he is that electric.
Staisha and Reebok
Just in from their jaunt around the city, here's Little Red the American
foxhound and Dennis Pincheck from the Cape Canaveral, Florida area. Dennis
is an owner/handler which means that instead of hiring a handler, he'll
show Little Red in the ring, himself. Westminster, he says, "is a
complete escape from reality." He's not too fussed about winning.
Little Red the American
Foxhound and Dennis Pincheck
Admittedly, it's a lot easier in this pix to see Anthony Rizza (not in
cage) than his two Italian greyhounds (caged, in leopard jackets). On the
left is Lana, on the right, Mia, who has lent her name (however
unwillingly) to a line of "distinctive companion wear." Don't believe me?
See for yourself: www.miawear.com
Anthony Rizza (not in
cage) and his two Italian greyhounds, Lana (L) and Mia (R).
While we're on apparel, Carol Burke, what's with the fur coat? (Let the
record note, the interviewer was appalled but polite). This otherwise
likeable woman from San Francisco is here to "kick Berner butt" with
2001's #1 Bernese mountain dog in the country, Billy. Make no mistake,
she's not here for the parties (of which there are oh so many). Keep an
eye on Billy for Best of Breed.
Carol Burke and her top-ranked Bernese mountain dog, Billy
Last but hardly least, Mr. top male greyhound in the country: Barcelona.
It was hard to keep my hands off him, he was so soft to the touch (steady,
girl). "I walk out of the ring with the same dog I walk in with," says his
adoring human, Kim Fritter. "I don't need a ribbon to change my opinion
about my dog". The two have traveled to Westminster from Grand Junction,
Colorado, and will go home -- with or without Best In Show -- as smitten with
one another as when they arrived.
Barcelona and Kim Fritter
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